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Volunteering led to interest in public service for Ward 6 candidate

JoBeth Hamon
JoBeth Hamon

JoBeth Hamon says volunteering as a college student at Good Shepherd Chapel's ministry for children in Shawnee "changed a lot of my trajectory."

Hamon, 28, is a candidate for Oklahoma City Council in the Feb. 12 primary election. Also running for the open Ward 6 seat are Nathaniel Harding and Jim Holman.

Hamon said she enrolled at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee after spending her freshman year at Texas Christian in Fort Worth, Texas.

She arrived at OBU with interests in film and theater, and a scholarship to play golf.

But volunteering at Good Shepherd on Wednesday and Sunday nights serving meals to children living in poverty opened up for her a world "beyond my own experience."

The daughter of a doctor and a CPA, Hamon had graduated from high school in Prineville, in rural central Oregon, where she said poverty was less visible.

After earning her degree in Family and Community Services, Hamon moved to Chicago. She spent two years with Episcopal Service Corps there, working at an Evanston homeless shelter.

She returned to Oklahoma City in 2014 and started that August as an administrative assistant at the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, where she is now an education coordinator.

As a candidate, she has gained a measure of renown for choosing to live downtown, and without a car.

She said her career in social services and experience as a walker, bicyclist and bus rider could bring needed perspective to the council, where she said discussions are uninformed.

Door-knocking, Hamon said, has more deeply driven home the value of city services that remove barriers for families that, for instance, don't have a car and live where the bus is not practical or accessible.

Communities feel safer, she said, "when there is a sense that everyone is taken care of."

Hamon volunteers with CommonWealth Urban Farms and attends Joy Mennonite Church on NE 16 Street. Her partner, Marty Peercy, is vendor coordinator at Curbside Chronicle.

Her mother Beta and father Brad Hamon live in Stillwater, where they met as students at Oklahoma State. Her father grew up in Bartlesville, where her grandfather was schools superintendent, she said.

Hamon said her older brother J.J. recently finished a chemical engineering Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma in Norman and relocated to Dallas.


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JoBeth Hamon

JoBeth Hamon

<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - JoBeth Hamon" title="JoBeth Hamon"><figcaption>JoBeth Hamon</figcaption></figure>
William Crum

OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman. Read more ›